13 essential minerals and how to get them by drinking

My family seems possessed by grocery shopping. While our liquor supplies languish pathetically, they constantly introduce new solid foods to the house. Bran flakes, chicken broth, peanut butter, pasta, almonds—it’s like a cult of macronutrients.

Do we really need all this solid food?

In an effort to get my parents to pinch off more than a few budgetary dollars each week for alcohol, I delved into the science of nutrition. And good news, my fellow inebriates! It turns out you can get all 13 essential minerals from alcoholic drinks.


People typically find this necessary electrolyte in foods such as bananas, tomatoes and potatoes. What about a Bloody Mary with a banana schnapps chaser? Tada!


Without chlorine, the stomach can’t produce acid, nor can the cells conduct their osmotic functions optimally. Put some salt around the rim of that margarita glass.


Working in tandem with potassium, sodium is necessary to regulate adenosine triphosphate, a critical factor in intracellular energy transfer. The best way to get it is to include salt with those tequila shots.


This workhorse mineral builds bone, supports blood cell synthesis, and is crucial for muscular, cardiovascular and digestive health. Alcoholics need even more calcium than regular people because their damaged livers have difficulty converting vitamin D to the active form necessary for absorbing calcium. This makes Bailey’s Irish Cream important.


Another component of bones, phosphorus is involved in multiple bodily functions, and found in grains such as oats, wheat and rice. Sounds like beer!


Another mineral that works with a buddy (calcium), magnesium contributes to bone health and ATP functions. Sources include nuts and cocoa. I’m thinking crème de cacao.


Your body needs traces of zinc to manufacture important enzymes such as liver alcohol dehydrogenase, responsible for processing alcohol. (Did you know your body makes its own continuous supply of alcohol? You need zinc to break it down.) You can find zinc in an array of foods. How about a whiskey?


Traces of iron keep anemia at bay. Guinness has famously been prescribed to maintain iron levels (and B vitamins).


Another player in enzymatic functions, manganese turns up in many foods, notably grains such as spelt and brown rice. How about some sake?


Just a trace keeps your body happily making enzymes. Nuts, seeds and grains such as barley contain copper, making beer your metabolic best friend.


A tiny amount prevents goiter and boosts the immune, salivary and digestive systems while conferring some antioxidant benefits. Make your daiquiri strawberry, and don’t forget to salt the rim.


This trace mineral combats oxidative DNA damage—the sort of free-radical damage that occurs when you pummel your liver regularly. Nuts are a good source—what better excuse to dive into the macadamia nut liqueur?


If you want to continue catalyzing oxygen, you need a teeny tiny trace of molybdenum. And that’s what a Bloody Caesar is for. 😉

7 thoughts on “13 essential minerals and how to get them by drinking

  1. After we got our taxes done yesterday, my husband went to the liquor store and got a bottle of St. Germaine, which I seem to recall is made out of flowers or something. Surely that must have some healthful benefits. Smelling it was the most tempted I’ve been to drink since being pregnant. Oh, I will hold out!

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